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The citizens and garrison treated such Protestants as remained within the walls, after the discomfiture of William, with consideration and clemency; they permitted them to betake themselves, in such numbers as they chose, to such places outside as they might select for their residences. The want of provisions within the city, the enormous rates which were charged for the ordinary necessaries of life, and the absence of supplies commensurate with the wants of the garrison and of the citizens, rendered it essential that the number inside should be reduced as much as possible, and for this reason, if for no other, the Protestants were allowed to depart. The money in circulation was the inferior brass or gun money of James; and £10 in that coin was the cost of a barrel of wheat; £9 a barrel of malt; £3 a quart of brandy; 2s. 6d. a quart of ale; salt £1 per quart; 30s. a pair for men's shoes; and everything else in proportion.1 Storey admits that things were not so bad as they were reported; but that they were bad enough is indisputable.
During the time he spent in camp before Limerick, William fared right well.''
About the fourteenth of September, Sarsfield, with a part of the Irish army, marched over the Shannon at Banagher bridge, and besieged the castle of Birr—the marks of the balls may yet be seen in the castle of that town—which was ably defended by a company of Colonel Tiffin's foot. But Major General Kirk marching towards it with a party of William's army, Sarsfield raised the siege and marched off.3
Count Solmes, who commanded in chief, was in Cashel at this time, where he received a letter by a trumpeter from the Duke of Berwick, then at Limerick, complaining that they had heard of a design of William, to transport the prisoners who had been taken at several places, to become slaves in the foreign plantations; and withal, threatening them with the French galleys. This was said to be a feint or stratagem of the Irish officers, to prevent their soldiers deserting, making them believe there was a contract to sell them all to Mons. Perara a Jew for so much bread. Count Solmes sent a reply to the Duke's letter, in which he denied the allegation, but threatened reprisals if wrong were done to the prisoners in the hands of the Irish. Soon after this Solmes went to England, and Ginkle was made Lieutenant-General, and Commander-in-Chief of the army, who went to his head quarters at Kilkenny.
During these events the castle of Nenagh was taken, and the town set on fire, notwithstanding a determined resistance on the part of the defenders and the people. During the siege Colonel Evans commanded the County of Limerick regiment of militia, and his life was saved by the merest accident.
1 Story's Impartial History.
• Thorpe's Catalogue of the SoutkweU MSS. (page 513) gives a curious letter said to have been written by one Captain Robert Taylor, and dated August 20, 1690, which tells what sort was the bill of fare which William was presented withal by the gallant Captain, and which was "all that this poor country can afford, and all that is left worth his Majesty's eating." Taylor doubtless had a keen eye to his own interests; but we are strongly of opinion that no French cumnier could provide a daintier feast for Royalty than did Captain Taylor, under the circumstances, provide for William III, while he lay before Limerick. Here is the letter:—
Letter of Captain Robert Taylor, August 20tb, who sends to the camp near Limerick, "all that this poor country can afford, and all that is left worth his Majesty's eating." The Captain and his wife appear to have been a most loyal pair; the viands they sent for the King's table were " one veale, 10 fatte weathers, 12 chickinges, 2 dussen of fresh butter, a thick cheese and a thin one; 10 loaves of bread, a dussen and a half of pidgeons; 12 bottles of ale, halfe a barrelle of small ale, some Kidnie beanes."
1 Cooke's History of Parsonstown gives a very good account of this siege.
A rapid retreat was now the order of the day with William. On Sunday the 81st of August, his soldiers decamped, blowing up a quantity of bombs and hand-grenades, which they could not carry with them; the next day he remained at Cahirconlish, and thence onwards to Waterford where he took shipping for England. Meantime Boisseleau gave vent to his feelings of jealousy by prophesying that when next William attacked Limerick he would be successful!
EFFECT OF THE DEFEAT AT LIMERICK ON WILLIAM.—EFFORTS TO REPAIR THIS
losses. RENEWED EXERTIONS OF THE DEFENDERS.—ANOTHER MILITARY
EXPEDITION SENT TO IRELAND.—PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS. THE
CAMPAIGN OF 1691.—LIMERICK AGAIN BESIEGED.—THE SURRENDER.
Having lost his hold on the country worth fighting for, William did not despair. He knew the agencies which were at work in every direction. Vacillation and treachery, he was conscious, would effect more for his purpose than great guns and the sword. On these, however, he placed no small share of reliance. He at once dispatched a powerful armed force to Ireland, including his own regiment of Fusileers, Brigadier Trelawney's, Princess Anne's, Colonel Hastings', Colonel Hales, Sir David Collier's, Colonel Fitzpatrick's, one hundred of the Duke of Bolton's, and two hundred of the Earl of Monmouth's, with the marine regiments of Lord Torrington and Lord Pembroke. This force effected a landing at Cork on the 22nd of September. Cork fell, not being effective for defence since the invention of gunpowder.1 Kinsale also submitted, the garrison, 1200 strong, being allowed to march out with arms and baggage, having a party of horse to conduct them to Limerick.8 It was made a matter of imputation on France that Kinsale was not strengthened rather than Limerick, as by so doing one of the finest harbours in the world could be secured against England, and her trade with the western world damaged if not ruined.' But in whatever light this may be viewed, it is indisputable that the Irish commanders had an intuitive knowledge that France was not faithful in the emergency, and that the course that had been pursued by her was not consistent with true friendship. The Irish now did what was possible for themselves. Limerick was put in a complete state of defence. Sarsfield employed the ablest engineering skill to repair what had been injured, and to strengthen every weak place. To this day evidences of his energy and skill, may be seen about those parts of the old walls against which William's cannon had vainly been directed, and which were again about to receive a fire not less concentrated, but equally ineffective. Where the breach had been made was set to rights by masonry, which is even now easily discernible. The walls were lined with enormous earth-coatings which made them completely bomb-broof.* Meanwhile a Privy Council was appointed by William's Government, early in December; new Commissions were given out to the judges, who did not spare the mere Irish. Nefarious laws were enacted. On the 16th of December, Brigadier Dorrington of the Irish army issued a proclamation from Limerick, in which he stated that all needful accommodation was in readiness for those who chose to transport themselves to France.1 In this proclamation, the Brigadier inveighed vehemently against William and his government, and the conduct altogether of William's partizans everywhere during this crisis. One of William's very first acts on his arrival in London was to open the Session of Parliament with a speech from the throne, in which he not only spoke of the successes (?) which his arms had in Ireland, notwithstanding the want of pay which his soldiers had endured, but of his relations towards France, the raising of a million of money on the credits of the forfeited estates in Ireland, the maintenance of a force of 67,636 men, a strong navy, new ships, &c. It was also suggested that a return should be given of the names of all those who had been in "rebellion" in England and in Ireland, in order to the confiscation of their estates, and the applying the proceeds to bear the charges of the war I Here we have a key to the purpose and the policy of William. He proceeded against his father-in-law, James II. in open "rebellion"—and declared those to be rebels who drew the sword against his usurpation. The question of the forfeited estates was not so easily adjusted, though ultimately it prevailed. The matter was held over for another session, on the recommendation of the House of Lords. William did not feel at ease with his friends; they were exacting, and he was willing, but he could not do all with the desired haste. In disgust he went to Holland, where he arrived after an unpropitious voyage. New " Popish plots" were discovered. Catholics of high position and influence were assassinated under the cover of law. Lord Preston and Mr. Ashton were tried and condemned in England, because they were favorable to James. Never was hatred more insatiate in the darkest days that had gone by. In Limerick, Waterford, Cork, and Tipperary, several brisk actions took place between the Williamite troops and the rapparees. Towards Nenagh a sharp fight occurred between the rapparees and Lieutenant-Colonel Lillington, who first secured a bridge about half a mile from the town, sent a detachment to occupy a pass towards Limerick, while the rest of his freebooters entering Nenagh—the Irish flying to the Castle for security—he set fire to the houses, together with stores of malt, and meal, and plundered 300 head of black cattle. Forty or fifty Irish fell in this foray of Lillington. Hacking, hunting, and butchering was the course of the Williamites.* People began to tire and sicken of this wearisome warfare. A defeat at the moat of Grange, and a scarcity of provisions which now began to be sensibly felt in Limerick, contributed in no small degree to unnerve and cause dismay to the people. Succours were hourly looked for from France; but days and weeks were passing amid hope deferred, and the good time after all did not come. However, Tyrconnell, in January, 1691, returned from France to Limerick with three frigates laden with provisions, clothing, arms, and ammunition, and about £8000 in money. Tyrconnell was accompanied by Sir Richard Nagle and Sir Stephen Rice, in whose hands James had lodged the administration of civil affairs up to the present.
1 Windcla'g Guide to the South of Ireland. The year before Macgillicuddy, the Governor of Cork, made an Ineffective resistance to William's troops. * Storey. 8 Ibid.
'Storey admits that the defences were made by the very ablest engineers.
A considerable number of French officers arrived in Limerick towards the end of April; they brought an account that General St. Bath, a brave and gallant soldier, who had won reputation on foreign fields, would soon follow from France, with clothing and other necessaries for 25,000 men, and that he would place himself at the head of the army. Confidence now gained ground; and Limerick was put in a complete state of defence. The walls were so widened, particularly towards the south, John's gate, &c, that they afforded an excellent walk in after years for the citizens, and White pleasantly observes when he wrote:—" those are the walls we now walk onI"1 About the 20th of May, a large arrival of war material took place in the bay of Dublin for William's army, with 500 gun carriage horses, together with Lieutenant-General Scravemoor, Major-General Mackay, and Major-General Euvigni, and a train of artillery, consisting of 80 pieces of cannon, 6 mortars, and 12 field pieces, which marched from Dublin towards Mullingar on the 26th; Lieutenant-General Ginkle, and the other general officers intending to follow in a few days after. The arms also, which were lately sent from England, were distributed among the Protestants of Ireland —a practice, which has not even in our own day been abandoned whenever the Orange interest requires support. The Irish supplied themselves with arms also; and if even according to Captain Robert Parker, they behaved with wonderful resolution the year before at the Boyne, and with unparalleled bravery at Limerick, they were now determined to fight for native homes and free altars, with more than quondam valour. The campaign quicked into vigorous activity in every quarter. Militia were posted by William's officers wherever their presence might avail. Tipperary and Cork were almost altogether confided to the militia. A strong Williamite garrison was placed in Clonmel. Sir William Cox, who had the command of the militia, advised that a flying camp should be formed at Michelstown, which would so cover the country from all incursions from Limerick, that they could spare troops for the army. It was apprehended that an attack would be made on Waterford by the Irish, because that city was weak in the absence of the guns, which had been withdrawn to other places. Rogers, an expert engineer, reported what was necessary to strengthen Waterford for William; and what he recommended was done. Many of the Irish leaders were summarily seized and disposed of by an order from the Council Board of William's government. Everywhere throughout the country the utmost activity prevailed on every side; but all eyes were turned towards Limerick.
1 Storey. » Ibid.
Towards the end of May, Major-General Talmash, who was sent over by William, arrived in Dublin; he was accompanied by Sir Martin Beckman, chief of the corps of Engineers. In a day or two they proceeded towards the camp, where the soldiers had been occupied in hanging such of the poor Irish as came in their way. Storey states that on one occasion thirty-five were killed, and six were "fairly" hanged.2 Orders were issued to all sellers of ale and other liquors to dispose of none, but good brewed ale and genuine liquors to the soldiers in camp, in order to prevent diseases; sellers were directed to procure licenses from Dublin. The latter portion of the order was withdrawn sometime after, not being found convenient to any of the parties interested. On the 30th of May, Crinkle, in chief command, travelled from Dublin, and slept that night at Tycroghan. Next day he reached the camp at Mullingar, where he found Kirk's, Lord Meath's, Lord Lisburn's, Lord Cutts', Colonel Foulkes', Colonel Brewer's, Lord George
1 White's MSS. * Storey's Continuation, &c.
Hamilton's, and Colonel Earle's regiment of foot,—Sir John Lanier's, Brigadier Villiers's, Colonel Longstone's, St Roncour's, and MonopovoLlon's horse, with Colonel Leveson's Dragoons, who before his coming over to Ireland was made a Brigadier by William. The army and militia got new clothes for the campaign; the colour was generally of grey, for, as yet, the red had not been introduced in the British army. The Irish wore green, French grey, white, &c. The army of the Williamites was now concentrated in a great measure—but in some places stray parties of militia and regulars appeared at a distance from the camp; and it was among one of these that Ensign Storey, the brother of the Dean, was met by the chivalrous galloping Hogan at Corolauty, near Congort in Lower Ormond. This occurrence, fatal to young Storey, who was a gallant soldier, took place on the 1st of June. Drogheda's regiment kept garrison at Gorolanty where the news of the capture of Congort had arrived. Storey, with youthful ardor, not believing the intelligence that Congort had fallen into the hands of the Irish, resolved to prevent its capture, and to take care that it should not be burned. He went out with his party, but was surprised and killed. The Irish, however, not only buried him with the honors of war, but the humanity they manifested, is freely admitted by the brother of the Ensign, who was the Historian of William's campaigns.
At Mullingar Ginklc gave certain directions as to the contraction of the works that had been made the winter before for the sucnrity of that place. The design of passing the Shannon at Meelck or Banagher, appeared to be the most plausible to Ginkle while he lay at Mullingar; and he sent the Rev. Mr. Trench, who at an earlier period had done service to the cause,1 to the Duke of Wirtemberg, then at Ballyboy, to encamp thereabouts until the rest of the army had joined him, or if he could, to surprise a passage over the Shannon while the Irish army which were watching the other portion of the English. Mr. Trench, with a party of thirty horse, got to his destination, though surrounded by the Irish; knowing the passes, and the by-ways, he reached Roscrea where the Duke was encamped. For certain causes, however, an express was sent to Athlone directing that the Duke should march forward in order to join the army at Athlone. This was done —and matters proceeded in a regular course of operation on both sides. One of the principal wants of the Irish army was an efficient cavalry. Storey tells a very curious tale in reference to the manner in which this want was supplied by the Irish Generals. On a certain day they sent directions that all the gentlemen volunteers and yeomen in the neighbourhood of Limerick should appear on the King's Island with their best horses and arms. They appeared accordingly, when the majority of them were ordered to dismount and deliver up their horses for the use of the army. In a few days after this occurrence the whole body of Irish moved on towards Athlone, whither they had been informed, by spies and outscouts, the army of the Williamites designed to march. Ginkle, meantime, left nine twenty-four pounders, one eighteen pounder, and three mortars at Mullingar, and marched on Saturday the 6th of June, to Eathcondra about six miles between Meers Court and Cairus Castle. He was joined by several general officers and their regiments and troops, at the head of whom was Lieutenant General Douglas, General Milo Burke was Governor of Athlone. He spurned the
l Storey states that he had been very forward in their Majesties' Service. This reverend gentleman was ancestor of Lord Aahtown, and of the present Protestant Archbishop of Dublin.